Nike is known worldwide for its running trainers, but also offers a fantastic selection of racing shoes and spikes as well. The Flyknit Racer is Nike’s colorful, unisex shoe made for racing, primarily in road races. The Flyknit line earns its trademark name from its flexibility and sock like fit, and the Flyknit racer is definitely no exception. In fact, this unique design is especially useful in a racing shoe like the Flyknit Racers, for optimal speed and stride. The Racers are actually usable for general purpose athletic activity or everyday use, but they certainly are specialized for racing. The Flyknit Racers debuted in the summer of 2013, and have been a very popular choice of shoe since.
The outsole of a shoe is a piece to examine when considering the lifespan of a shoe, as well as the traction. It is essentially the bottom of the shoe. The outsole of the Nike Flyknit Racer is made of a waffle-style carbon rubber. This design is typical of racing shoes because it promotes great traction. This is particularly useful for racing
as better grip allows for a better step and stride.
It is also fairly rigid, allowing for a bit of support, which can also come in handy during a race. One thing to note though, is that there have been some reports of holes appearing in the outsole. It appears to be a bit more prone to wear and tear, whether that be due to how thin it is or the material it is made of. This is definitely something to consider for those who want to use the Racers everyday, but is probably less important for those who plan to use it just for racing.
The layer between the outsole and the inner sole, is known as the midsole. The midsole is widely regarded as one of the most important parts of a shoe, as it provides energy return and is also responsible for absorbing shock. The midsole of the Flyknit Racers is made of Phylon, like several other models in the Flyknit line. Phylon is made of EVA foam pellets, and is very lightweight and responsive. The midsole is lightweight and responsive, while also providing just a touch of cushion, which is a bit uncommon in most racers, but effective in the Flyknits. Finally, it is notable that the Flyknit Racers have a slightly more arched midsole, which should not be a major factor for most, except those who have unique arches
The upper is the part of the shoe that wraps around the entire top of the foot. The role of the upper is to provide stability and protection, while also maintaining flexibility. The upper of the Flyknit Racers features Nike’s unique Flyknit design, which offers extremely solid flexibility, breathability, and support. Nike Flyknit is woven using ultra thin yarn, and stitched in such a way to promote support and remain lightweight as well. Overall, the upper of the Flyknit Racers has a lot to offer and is very well constructed.
A running shoes weight plays an important role in its effectiveness and use. A lighter running shoe will allow for more efficient strides, while a heavier shoes tends to offer more cushion. The Flyknit Racers are extremely light, weighing in at 6.0 oz for a men’s size 10, and even lighter for smaller sizes. This is to be expected for a shoe meant for racing
, as is a lack of heavier cushion. The weight of the Racers is in line with what is expected of a racing shoe.
Breathability is important, as a shoe without good breathability causes humidity and clamminess. This culminates in uncomfortable, sweaty feet, and at worst, blisters. The Flyknit Racers are very breathable as a product of the previously mentioned Flyknit upper design. The ultra light woven yarn, and knitted design allow for great air-flow, and an overall breathable shoe. Runners won't have to worry about sweaty feet
during runs or races.
Every runner knows how important comfort is when considering a shoe. An uncomfortable shoe is worsened by the fact that they will be worn for mile upon mile upon mile. The Flyknit Racers are an overall comfortable shoe, due to their lightweight design, and the outsole and midsole material. These shoes generally will be more comfortable for those racing, but certainly are not lacking in that department for those using the shoes for other purposes.
Nike’s style is well known and popular around the world, and the Flyknit Racers are a great example. Styled similarly to the other shoes from the Flyknit line, the Racers have a modern and sleek look. Though unisex, the Racers are offered in a variety of colors, meaning there is likely a color for everyone. Overall, the design of Nike's shoes tends to be very stylish and accessible, and this can be seen in the Flyknit Racers.
Durability is a significant factor when looking at any new shoe. Purchasing new shoes frequently is not something runners want to be doing. The Flyknit Racers are arguably less durable than most common shoes. There have been reports, particularly from those who use the Racers everyday of holes in the outsole forming near the toe. The likely cause is the thickness of the outsole, which is light and thin, considering the shoe is for racing. This may be an issue of concern for those using the shoes for everyday use or running. For those who plan to exclusively use the Racers for racing, the Flyknit Racers should provide plenty of durability.
In terms of protection, the Flyknit Racers are solid. It is important to note that racing shoes tend to have less protection than normal trainers. This is due to their lightweight design, which is optimized for speed. The Flyknit Racers offer less protection than most regular trainers, but a standard amount for racing shoes. This is represented in the upper Flywire technology and outsole design. Overall, solid protection is offered from these Flyknit Racers, but for those seeking very high levels of protection, racing shoes are generally not the choice.
Responsiveness describes the return of energy whenever a shoe impacts the ground, or essentially during each step of running. A good energy return will promote a better stride and more efficient running. The Flyknits are very good in this regard. The midsole with its Phylon material gives good energy return with every step. This, in tandem with the outsole waffle design, make the Flyknit Racer a responsive shoe. This is important, as when racing in particular, maximum energy return can make a significant difference
with every step.
The Flyknit Racers offer decent but not amazing support. This is again a product of the style of racing shoes, in that they tend to offer less support in favor of speed. The Flyknit Racers still offer decent support though, through the design of the upper, and the material of the outer and midsole. The Racers offer less support than most shoes, perform well enough in that regard for racing shoes.
The Flyknit Racers are most likely suited for road. They can be used on other terrain, but the design of racing shoes tend to favor roads and sidewalks. Extended use on rougher terrain
like in rocky areas might lead to quick wear on the shoes as well. The Racers are usable in rain however, in case it rains on race day.
Price is another important thing to consider with any pair of shoes. The Flyknit Racers are not cheap, especially for racing shoes. They are an excellent pair of shoes, that offer great features and technology, but they are definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum. For comparison, most racing shoes are cheaper than trainers by a decent margin, but the Flyknit Racers are on par with the standard trainers
on the market. That being said, they are among some of the better racing shoes offered on the market.
Traction of running shoes refers to the grip on different surfaces. The Flyknit Racer has exceptional traction, with its waffle design of the outsole. This design aids the shoe in gripping the ground in a way that benefits the runner. This is to promote speed
and strong energy return on strides. On surfaces other than road, the traction may be a bit less effective however. Generally though, the Racers should probably be used on road surfaces anyways.
Flexibility is key in alleviating bad twists and potential foot strains, and in facilitating good movement. Too stiff of a shoe can cause problems upon impacts. The Flyknit Racers are flexible shoe, in part due to the Flyknit weave of the upper and the midsole material. These two in tandem make the Racer a good shoe for flexibility and by extension, a good shoe for racing.
of a running shoe indicates how well the shoe naturally supports a runner’s steps, which in turn is useful in preventing injuries. The Racers offer a bit less stability than most trainers. Once again, this can be attributed to the fact that they are racing oriented shoes. This stability is traded in favor of less weight and speed. Again, this isn’t to say that the shoe is not stable. The upper is very well designed and offers solid stability, the Flyknits are just less stable than a regular trainer.
The drop on these Racers is 10mm. The drop refers to the height of the heel. The drop tends to be smaller with lighter shoes to promote a more natural stride, and larger with heavier shoes for a more protected step. For the Flyknit Racers, a 10mm drop is arguably a bit large for racing flats, as racing flats tend to fall into the spectrum of lighter shoes. That said, it definitely isn't so large as to be unreasonable and works fairly well for these shoes.
•Quality outsole waffle design
•Nike Flyknit upper with unique threading
•Stylish designs and vibrant colors
•Phylon midsole for great energy return
Overall, the Nike Flyknit Racers are a very solid choice of racing shoes. Their patented Flyknit technology in combination with the quality outsole and midsole make the shoe lightweight and flexible. The only major issues to note are the outsole possibly wearing out with extended use, and the price. The price
in particular might make some shy away, but the quality of these Racers is well worth it. These shoes are definitely most suited for those seeking shoes for road races. For other purposes, like everyday use or training, the Racers are a very solid and usable pair of shoes, though probably not the absolute best choice. In terms of a racing shoe, however, the Racers are an excellent choice and offer great features.